Yes, fishing in all waters requires a current Sports Fishing license.
Licenses are monitored by Fish & Game New Zealand, and can be purchased online or in-person at a hunting or fishing store that sells licenses. When you book a fly fishing trip with Best of New Zealand Fly Fishing our guides can organize the necessary licenses for you. Fly lodges will also provide daily fishing licenses.
There are two kinds of fishing licenses available for visitors to New Zealand: Fishing One Day License and the Non Resident License.
Anglers anticipating fishing rivers like the Travers, Goulter, Upper Wairau, Upper Matakitaki, Karamea River Catchment or the Mokihinui River Catchment will additionally need a Backcountry License, which can be applied for online. There is no cost, but it is needed in the case you plan to visit the area above.
Applicants must be 18 or older as of October 1 of that year, and cannot be a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand.
Fishing with the ‘wrong’ license is considered the same as fishing with ‘no’ license; both actions are punishable by a maximum $5,000 NZD penalty. New Zealand DOC (Dept. of Conservation) is tasked with ensuring the fisheries and waters are maintained for years to come and this is all of our responsibility to remain diligent when